(Vocabulary postings are words or phrases I recently came across in reading, did not fully understand, looked up, and discovered something new.)
We are all familiar with this weapon of naval warfare, but I heard the word used in a context I did not understand. To torpedo an idea is to sink it. Another meaning is to press ahead regardless of possible consequences.
The idiom (and it is a good example of an idiom) comes from a quote of Admiral Farragut during the Civil War, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”
The context I heard was a description of a film noir actor and his “torpedo personality.”
(This is the type of idiom I love—taking a familiar word and twisting it into a new context.)